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Woodpecker Trail is a Premium Extra Virgin Olive. Higher standard than you find at the local grocery store. For a little product knowledge we describe how our NYIOOC Award Winning olive oil became a world’s best olive oil. Review independent testing analysis from our harvest. Here
What Makes a Premium Winning World’s Best Extra Virgin Olive Oil?
EVOO Primer 101
FFA (FREE FATTY ACID) A low FFA is desirable. Free fatty acid speaks to the condition of the fruit at the time of crush. Higher FFA values are indicative of poor quality fruit such as damaged, overripe, insect infestation, high temperatures during extraction or too much time between harvest and crush.
Woodpecker Trail Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil : ≤ 0.12 (≤ means less than)
International Olive Oil Council : ≤ 0.8
USDA : ≤ 0.8
California Olive Oil Council : ≤ 0.5
Australian Standards: ≤ 0.8
OLIVE OIL DEFINITIONS AND TERMS
All of the chemical and taste analysis on our oils was performed by NYIOOC Judges and Baker Wine and Laboratory immediately after the olives were harvested and crushed.
Free Fatty Acid (FFA) (oleic acid): For an olive oil to be graded as Extra Virgin it must have a maximum FFA limit of .8% (.8g per 100g) according to International Olive Council (IOC) quality standards. FFA is indicative of the quality of the olives used to produce an oil. A low FFA value indicates that the olives were picked and processed immediately. A high FFA value indicates that the olives were damaged, overripe, infested by insects, overheated during oil production or simply sat too long before being processed. While a low FFA does not always guarantee high quality oil in and of itself, a high FFA almost always indicates poor quality oil.
At Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm, our FFA is .12%. That's 7 times lower (exceeding international standards by 83. 75%) than the current international quality standard.
Oleic Acid: Oleic Acid is a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid found in olive oil and is one of the main components that sets olive oil apart from other types of vegetable oil. Oleic Acid helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol; thus, it is considered the good fat in olive oil and recommended as a substitute to saturated animal fat. To be graded as Extra Virgin the percentage of Oleic Acid in relation to overall FFA must be greater than or equal to 55% according to IOC standards.
At Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm, Our average Oleic Acid percentage is roughly 83%. That's 28% higher than the current international quality standard.
A higher level is better! Oleic acid is responsible for some of the health benefits of EVOO, and its high resistance to free radicals helps to slow down the spread of damaging chemical chain-reactions. Because of its high degree of resistance to attack by oxygen free radicals, higher levels of oleic acid in an olive oil help keep it fresher for longer, by preventing the formation of peroxidized (rancid) fats. Our bodies absorb any peroxidized fats that we consume and incorporate them into our cells. Oleic acid’s superior resistance to free radical attacks protects our cell membranes, proteins, and DNA from being damaged, as it protects the oil from spoiling. Substituting oleic acid for saturated fatty acids in animal fats improves cholesterol balance, and research also suggests that oleic acid may have more specific health benefits, such as the ability to help regulate healthy blood pressure by altering cellular signaling. For these and other reasons, the US FDA has approved the health claim that scientific evidence suggests that eating about 2 tablespoons (23 grams) of olive oil daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease due to the monounsaturated fat in olive oil.”
Peroxide Value: An oil’s Peroxide Value indicates the extent to which an oil has been oxidized. When Free Fatty Acids in an oil react with oxygen, peroxides form that cause fat to turn rancid, so in essence the Peroxide Value is the measure of an oil's rancidity. A high Peroxide Value is an indication that the olives were exposed to extremely high levels of heat, light or oxygen at the time of production. It can also indicate poor processing practices, substandard olive condition, use of old olives, improper storage of olives or a combination of these negatives. For an oil to be graded Extra Virgin it must have a maximum Peroxide Value of 20 (miliequivalents per kilogram) according to IOC standards.
At Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm, our Peroxide Value was 9. That's 2 times lower than the current international
Polyphenol Content: Polyphenols are powerful anti-inflammatory antioxidants found in many foods, but they are generally found in very high concentration in EVOO. Polyphenols are cited to be responsible for the low incidence of heart disease and Alzheimer's associated with the Mediterranean diet; therefore, the higher an oil's Polyphenol Content, the healthier the oil is. Polyphenols impart flavor characteristics of bitterness and pungency as well, so an oil with a strong pepper finish or intense bitterness often signifies a higher Polyphenol Content. Currently there is no established international standard for minimum Polyphenol Content in EVOO.
Our average Polyphenol Content is 388. Our antioxidant level is 3 times higher than premium quality standard.
UV Absorption: UV Absorption serves as a secondary test for rancidity in olive oil. Elevated UV levels indicate oxidized, poor quality oil that has possibly been refined or adulterated. For an oil to be graded Exta Virgin, IOC standards mandate than an oil's K232 value must be lower than 2.5%, its K270 value must be lower than 2.2% and its Delta K value lower than .01%.
At Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm our Extra Virgin Oils exceeded by large margins the Ultra-Premium standard for Our UV Absorption with a K232 value at 1.9%, our K270 value .13% and our Delta K value at .003%.
Taste Analysis: According to IOC standards, an oil must also pass a taste analysis performed by an internationally accredited tasting panel before it can be graded as Extra Virgin. The tasting panel must judge the oil free of all taste defects. A tasting panel consists of between 8-12 judges.
At Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm, not only are all our oils determined to be free of all taste defects by the NYIOOC Judges tasting panel, but they also receive minimum sensory evaluation scores in the positive taste attribute categories of Fruitiness Bitterness and Pungency as an international quality standard. Judges determined Tasting Sensations -Ripe Olives Cocoa Almond Walnut . All extra virgin olive oil should have at least a slight burning sensation on the end. In reality it is a “healthy burn”. One of the main health benefits associated with fresh extra virgin olive oil are polyphenols. The higher the phenol content, the more pepper the oil will have. For most people, pepper is an acquired taste.
Some other information: There are typically more than 20 different biophenols in extra virgin olive oil. The prevalent classes of hydrophilic phenols found in EVOO are phenolic alcohols and acids (i.e. Hydroxytyrosol and vanillic acid), flavonoids (i.e. luteonin), lignans (i.e. pinoresinol) and secoiridoids. Among these substances the last two classes include the most concentrate phenols of EVOO. Secoiridoids, like aglycone derivatives of oleuropein, demethyloleuropein and ligstroside, are present in olive fruit as most abundant EVOO phenolic antioxidants. Several important biological properties (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive and anti-cancer) and the characteristic pungent and bitter tasty properties have been attributed to EVOO phenols.
The term “biophenols” was first used in 1996 to denote bioactive phenols in olives replacing the more common and less chemically accurate term “polyphenols”. “Biophenols” has started gaining popularity beyond olive chemistry and currently used by researchers to refer to plant phenols in general. Biophenols constitute the largest group of secondary plant metabolites with ubiquitous presence in plants and wide spectrum of biological activities. During the last three decades, biophenols have seized scientific attention, lured industry and attracted consumers’ interest due to their antioxidative potential in preservation of food and maintaining human health. The ability of food to maintain health and prevent disease is a common belief and a proven scientific fact. However, the power of food constituents to treat and cure ailments is a contested concept. The idea of using food for medication is not novel. Hippocrates famous quote, said centuries ago, “Let thy food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food”. Biophenols are highly prized for their free radical scavenging and antioxidant activities. Medical research is showing that Biophenols (sometimes called Polyphenols) fight Cancer, Stroke, Heart Disease and a host of other medical issues, including Alzheimers, by significant margins.
The fresh picked olives are cold pressed & estate bottled from harvested olives within hours of harvest. Olive oil must have Ultra violet absorbency measurement of >(less) than 2.40 (UV) K232 as considered a critical marker for good quality extra virgin olive oil. Our EVOO is 1.89 UV K323 exceeding international EVOO standards. So we are very picky to achieve this quality.
Introducing new tech including Expiration Date and Lot numbers to our bottling process and labeled on our bottles (as captioned in image). There are no national requirements and yet we feel as a quality producer of EVOO to include this process. Additionally, some producers like Woodpecker Trail Olive Farm use a high-tech bottling process that can extend the life of your olive oil. We use insufflation of an inert gas such as nitrogen in our glass bottles headspace which means that unopened and stored in a cool space, they can keep for years, and once opened, they’re good for eight to ten weeks that can surely increase the EVOO shelf-life and preserving polyphenols, and other health attributes compounds such as hydroxytyrosol, tyrosol, and secoiridoids. When purchasing a bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, it’s useful to know how to read the label and look for a few important things such as expiry date and producer origin. This information can be helpful tools when choosing between different varieties and brands. Enjoy!
REAL REVIEWS FROM REAL SHOPPERS: "Great Olive Oil: We were at a villa in Italy that has olive trees and the owner served us some recently pressed oil from her trees and it was wonderful with a fresh peppery taste. My first-time tasting Woodpecker Trail Olive Oil reminded of that oil in Italy, hard to believe it comes from South Georgia. I recommend this oil for dipping fresh sourdough or Italian bread in or serving with fresh home-grown North Georgia tomatoes in the summer. "